Breaking Mirrors: The Truth Behind Negative Body Image
Breaking Mirrors: The Truth Behind Negative Body Image
Body struggles are real, but so is your strength. In this soul-stirring episode of “Women's Mental Health Conversations”, we're tearing down the stereotypes surrounding negative body image. Join Randi Owsley, LMSW and Jessica Bullwinkle, LMFT, two compassionate warriors in the mental health field, as they shed light on the causes of negative body image, the impact of media on body image, and the alarming trend of negative body image in teens.
Whether you're a woman in her mid-40s wrestling with self-identity or a parent seeking resources to support a teen, this episode is your beacon, guiding you to healthier self-perception or helping you assist those in need. Prepare for an hour that could change the way you see yourself forever.
Consider this your audio roadmap to the upcoming journey that the Women's Mental Health Podcast will take you on, one uplifting moment at a time and work to rid yourself of a negative body image. Prepare to uplift your spirit with treasured wisdom on how to overcome negative body image, and find freedom in liberating body positivity strategies. Discover insights with a breath of difference in our segment on body image therapy techniques that can provide invaluable aid.
Grasp the intricate web between self-esteem and body image, and how it constructs our very self-perception. Be inspired by influencers promoting body positivity and draw strength from their unique stories.
Together, we will delve into profound books on negative body image to weave a tapestry of self-love and acceptance. Recognize the signs and symptoms of negative body image, and familiarize yourself with tools to dismantle this pernicious thought process. We strive to facilitate honest conversations about the challenging link between negative body image and self-esteem.
Get ready, beautiful souls, these upcoming episodes are dedicated to helping you overcome negative body image and pave the way for a more confident, self-loving you and rid yourself of a negative body image! Remember, you're not navigating this journey alone – we're here, every step of the way.
Navigating the root causes of negative body image can often feel like traversing a maze. Whether it's societal pressures or the pervasive impact of media on body image, these elements can often lead to a distorted view of oneself. But fear not, beautiful souls! Capturing scientific insights and real-life experiences, we bring you powerful tools and coping skills on how to overcome negative body image.
Float in the sea of body positivity strategies led by influencers promoting body positivity and dive into empowering books on negative body image to reclaim your self-confidence. Use body image therapy techniques to stitch a quilt of self-care, and don't forget: your self-esteem and body image are intertwined, nourishing one nourishes the other.
Furthermore, let's not overlook our blossoming teens and their negative body image ! Negative body image in teens is a yo-yo we often struggle to balance. Here you'll find valuable resources, from understanding the onset to managing the aftermath, and workshops on positive body image to help guide our teens towards a better perception of self. It's time to unfurl your wings and redefine your understanding of beauty, inside and out.
Questions well cover in upcoming topics as well:
What is negative body image and how is it defined?
What causes negative body image?
How does negative body image affect mental health?
Can negative body image lead to eating disorders?
How can I improve my negative body image?
What is body positivity and how can it help?
What is the impact of social media on negative body image?
Can therapy help with negative body image?
Can men suffer from negative body image too?
Where can I find further resources on negative body image?
Remember, ladies, the path to better body image is a journey, but one that leads to a healthier, happier relationship with yourself! Together, we can embrace all our imperfections and remember that we are all uniquely beautiful. Negative body image.
Ways to Unwind and Relax
Meditative, Relaxing, Mental Health Coloring books developed by licensed psychotherapists Randi Owsley and Jessica Bullwinkle – Available on Amazon Today!
Visit our Fav Sh*t for all the books and info mentioned on the podcast.
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[00:00:00] Randi: 1, 2, 3, 4, hi friends. It's Randy
[00:00:06] Jess: and Jess.
[00:00:07] Randi: And we're gonna cut the bullshit and let's get into women's mental health
Episode 4 of the podcast, unapologetically all over the place with Randy and Jess, where we talk about women's mental health issues and how it's all normal. In this podcast, we will cover the difference of having a body positive outlook versus a body neutral outlook. What it means to be body neutral, practical ways to improve your self image.
It's time to call out our society's double standards and start treating women as human beings.
[00:00:39] Jess: Society perpetuates, unrealistic beauty standards, which can cause self-doubt, low self-esteem in women and negative body image. . We need to change the way we think about our bodies. There is no need to feel ashamed if your body is different, whether it's size, color ability.
So let's talk about the, what this means and how to combat it.
[00:00:58] Randi: Have you ever thought, why do I find it so difficult to accept myself just as I am,
[00:01:04] Jess: or I'm gonna make this year the best one yet by losing weight and getting in shape.
[00:01:09] Randi: If I were thinner than I would just fill in the blank, like get a better job or have a better boyfriend or have more friends.
[00:01:18] Jess: right. Or even have like, oh, my social media would be so much more exciting. I don't feel beautiful in the way society defines beauty.
[00:01:26] Randi: Or have you ever thought what would happen if I gave up obsessing about the number on the scale?
[00:01:30] Jess: Oh, good. God, that's my one right there. Right. Or what can I do to be more like those women who love themselves, no matter what size they are, like the ones that can wear the tank tops and can just rock it.
Those are the ones that impress me.
[00:01:42] Randi: Right. But why should we be so hyper focused on. Society really puts, uh, unrealistic standards on us as women. And that can lead to us having unrealistic goals about ourselves. And we just place so much emphasis on a person's physical appearance, judging somebody and our own selves on our body. Negative body image.
And that's the worst thing that we can do to ourselves. And it happens daily, even in today's modern, or as we say, modern society,
[00:02:18] Jess: right. It doesn't even matter the age kids do it. We do it older people do it. Mm-hmm . So, because of these traditional gender roles and expectations, women are constantly under pressure to be thin.
You gotta be thin. You have to look thin. Um, and this leads to us and other women feeling like they've failed, that their bodies do not conform to what society deems beautiful or perfect. And this can make other people, including us really insecure about themselves and just less confident about who they are.
[00:02:49] Randi: Right. Just think of like, um, the age that we grew up in and like how it was the whole waif model movement.
[00:02:56] Jess: Was that kate Moss back in the day.
[00:02:57] Randi: Yeah. Kate Moss and like Nicole Richie and them, and like the sharp shoulder blades and like the super sharp hip bones. And like,
[00:03:04] Jess: you mean anorexic?
[00:03:05] Randi: Yes. And so like, that is what we grew up as supposedly being like the ideal body image and I was always curvier.
And to me, I have always struggled with, um, being kind to my body like that, because that was like the status quo that we were supposed to be aiming for. And that, and it was so hard. That's unrealistic.
[00:03:31] Jess: Well, it is unrealistic. It's like the one size fits all thing that, that just total bullshit.
[00:03:36] Randi: Total bullshit.
[00:03:37] Jess: When I buy a shirt, that's one size fits. All right. I had one on the other day. It's not gonna look the same on me as it does on you. And when something doesn't feel good, it doesn't get worn. It sits in the closet and then you're like, Hmm, this isn't one size fits all. So why are we applying that to all the beauty and health standards?
[00:03:57] Randi: Well, because we live in a society that pushes like this giant weight loss memo, that's supposed to go out. It's a $61 billion industry to lose weight. Wow. Wow. Um, and that tops. Everyone's new year's resolution. I mean, just think about it. Has that been on your list? Negative body image.
[00:04:18] Jess: Oh, since I was like, you know, 10, yeah.
Every year I'm gonna lose weight every year. I'm gonna lose weight.
[00:04:23] Randi: Right. And so why, because we see this over and over and over again, we're inundated with that. We need to lose weight. We need to be thin and thin is healthy and thin is beautiful.
[00:04:36] Jess: and is that 61 billion? Is that a year?
[00:04:39] Randi: Yes. 61 crap billion dollars a year is what the weight loss industry makes off of us as women and men.
[00:04:48] Jess: But yeah, every year it starts gearing up. Mm-hmm so. Oftentimes people who are overweight or obese they're blamed for their condition. Right? Like they,
[00:04:57] Randi: like they're lazy.
[00:04:58] Jess: Mm-hmm mm-hmm they get threats or they suffer from like workplace discrimination versus it being an issue. Like looking at if it's a mental issue or if there's, uh, heredity issues,
[00:05:11] Randi: right.
Or like a lot of time, like jokes. And I feel like, especially in the media and like entertainment industry, like think of all the actors and stuff that they put in like fat suits and stuff like that for different characters and like, so that, it's funny. Mm-hmm
[00:05:28] Jess: that? Absolutely. So what the fuck is going on?
[00:05:31] Randi: Really? What the fuck is going on? Every day I'm like, what the fuck is going on. We are so become so hyper focused on losing weight. It creates this negative cycle of low self-esteem and then that creates other mental health issues. And so instead of focusing, maybe on other things, like you said, that are like hereditary or mm-hmm , um, causing health issues, we are just focused on losing.
and we're not focusing on maybe the underlying issues that are there. I never thought about, I was just like, I just need to lose weight. I just need to lose weight. And it was like, I have P C O S with this poly ovarian cystic syndrome. And that causes a hormone imbalance and negative body image. . And it's really hard to lose weight, but like I never, you know, as a young woman like mesh the two of those, I was like, I just need to lose weight and that's gonna solve all my problem.
[00:06:27] Jess: Well, and that's what you, when you go to the doctor, we used to have, um, one of the big insurance companies back where we lived, right? The big hospitals. Mm-hmm every time you went in, I don't care if it's like your toe hurts it's oh, you need to lose weight
[00:06:40] Randi: or they take your weight. And that's the first thing they do get on the scale.
I now say no, do not weigh me.
[00:06:46] Jess: Well, and even when you do, I do the same thing and they're like, well, we need this. No,
[00:06:51] Randi: No, you don't like, unless you're specifically going to be prescribing me a medication that you need my weight for, and it's based off of my weight, you do not need my weight.
[00:07:01] Jess: Well, and again, it's because.
Oh, oh, your back hurts, right? Oh, oh, oh again, your finger hurts. You know, if you lost weight, like even carpal tunnel. Oh, you have carpal tunnel, you know, if you lost weight that that would go away.
[00:07:13] Randi: Mm-hmm everything cycles back too a negative body image. Just lose weight. And that is not really the underlying issue usually. And research has shown that weight discrimination.
Just plain shitty for women's mental health. One study found that overweight women were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and most had lower levels of self-esteem and overall body satisfaction.
[00:07:39] Jess: Well, and we are looking at another study, showed that. Overweight women and obese women are less likely to receive preventative care such as cancer screenings or heart disease screenings.
[00:07:50] Randi: That is just crazy to me. Why, why is that?
[00:07:54] Jess: Well, and all these feelings are contributing to a feeling of worthlessness and isolation.
[00:07:59] Randi: Right? And is it just because they think like you're overweight, so like that's the cause of your issue? Negative body image. Like not cancer, like. That's huge.
[00:08:09] Jess: Well, and we talked about it, I think in our first episode of how ADHD and if not, we should go more into it.
How ADHD is linked to overweight mm-hmm because of impulse control.
[00:08:20] Randi: And that was for me too. Um, a huge thing before I was diagnosed was I just thought I was emotional eater. And it wasn't that it was that I had no impulse control and sugar was giving me basically like that high, that dopamine that I was chasing.
And then that also like paired with my P C O S caused me to gain weight.
[00:08:43] Jess: Well, and exactly. And so I think if we start looking at some of the underlying stuff, the ADHD or the P C O S and start treating that, mm. More than likely, or the depression or the anxiety, right. That we are going to be able to change, help change society, uh, versus saying, oh, you just have to lose weight.
[00:09:02] Randi: We need to change the core reason and not just make it about. You're just fat. You're just overweight. You're just this. And actually be like, no, what really is going on? And that's why I think it's important to talk about body and neutrality versus body positivity and negative body image. . And that's something that I am very. Passionate about, and I know you are too, because we have both been overweight. Oh, most of our lives.
[00:09:30] Jess: Absolutely. And, and really being honest with yourself right. Because it's really hard. I, I talked about like arms earlier. That is always, my thing is I won't wear tank tops. But yesterday, one of the things I was moving stuff in the garage, you know, I like to move stuff and I was like, wow, my arms are super strong.
I have strong arms, but I'm not gonna rock them say I love them and rock 'em in a tank top. Rid myself of negative body image.
[00:09:52] Randi: And that's okay. So that's kinda what body neutrality is it's being. Okay. And acknowledging that your body isn't perfect. and that our appearance is not our primary determining factor about how worthy we are feeling good about the way we look.
Or feeling bad about it is a choice and we have that choice to choose if we wanna feel good. And if we wanna feel bad, we don't have to be yay me 24 7. That is unrealistic and unattainable.
[00:10:29] Jess: Well, and we're always worthy of love and acceptance, no matter what our parents may be. Right. We, we get to decide for ourselves.
Like you said, whether I'm gonna go to target looking like a.
[00:10:40] Randi: Which I prefer
[00:10:41] Jess: right. You know, I'm still beautiful, whether my hair is up or down and that's what we have to do. Our bodies deserve to be treated with respect by ourselves and by others, no matter how we look.
[00:10:52] Randi: And I think that's important like others too.
And we'll get into that more, but like having boundaries about the way people also view your body or talk about your body, because it happens more than we think. And some people choose to practice body positivity. That's a really big buzzword mm-hmm like in today's society, but it's being called out sometimes as a little bit toxic because it is very focused on beauty with body.
Like you're standing in front, the mirror I'm being like, I'm gorgeous. I'm gorgeous. No more Negative body image. I'm gorgeous. I'm gorgeous. Well, what if you don't feel that. You know, what, if you're not feeling gorgeous today and that's okay. You know, but you don't have to like shove it like down your throat and like fake it till you make it.
We don't need to do that. You can acknowledge that today. I'm just not feeling, you know myself, but like you said, but my arms are strong. They help me do this today. Even if I don't. Like the way they look in a tank top, that's kind of the concept around body positivity is that we're challenging, unrealistic body ideals. but there's pros and cons to that.
[00:11:57] Jess: Well, and one of the other things about body positivity is that it excludes, um, a lot of different people. Mm-hmm, it excludes people of color. It excludes transgender non-binary individuals argued that it a movement about white thin beauty standards. Um, and so it leaves a lot of people out and some people feel that body positivity can cause a stigma of, like you said, living up to the unrealistic standard. Mm-hmm I think we really have to start working on accepting ourselves and everyone accepting themselves as is,
[00:12:29] Randi: cause the body and neutral approach is more about value for all bodies. Whether you think it's beautiful or not.
The idea centers around that you value yourself more than skin deep. You're much more than what you look like. Your body of positive says I'm beautiful. No matter what that's the end body neutralism and negative body image. is on appreciating your body like as a whole and what it can do for you rather than how it looks.
[00:12:59] Jess: and that's awesome because body neutrality doesn't mean that you never feel good about your body. Negative body image. Negative body image. Negative body image.
[00:13:04] Randi: Right? Right. It's not an all one way or another.
[00:13:07] Jess: It also isn't centered on just appearance. It, it embraces this middle of the road approach by accepting that both positives and negatives associated with our physical form can happen at any given moment. And I have to say that is one of the biggest things that I work with that you can have, it's not black or white, both things can exist at the same time.
[00:13:28] Randi: You can take from each ideal and like apply it to you. And that's what I think. Like, you don't have to be all in. One foot or the other. I feel like we have like a society that is very much like you have to pick a box and you have to stand in it and that's who you are.
And I'm like here to say like, no F that you pick the pieces that work for you and that feel genuine for you. And then you apply that, like you make the rules for yourself and your body and your mind don't let society or friends or whoever like dictate how you feel about your body, body neutrality is talking about how this isn't the only thing that defines you as a person.
There is so much more. To who you are than just your body.
[00:14:17] Jess: And I wanna go back on that whole, like, being able to be both things. Have you ever like gone across a state line and you for fun go okay. I'm in Nevada. Oh yeah. Or what was it, Oregon.
[00:14:28] Randi: And where's that place, it's like the four points or whatever, and you can stand in all places.
[00:14:34] Jess: Right. You're like, okay, wait, I can be in both places at the same time. Mm-hmm it isn't black or white. Right. But it doesn't always have to happen. But it can be when you choose to be right.
[00:14:43] Randi: Exactly. Like maybe you could be like, yes, I'm the shit like this morning. And like, I love my hair. And at the end of the day, you're like, I'm not feeling this and that's fine.
Like, feel it. And then move on.
[00:14:52] Jess: Talking about earlier about like how our bodies are built. Our bodies are really influenced by our genetics. And so it's impossible to change some parts of me. Like I look at pictures, my mom has pictures of like my great grandmother on her dad's side. Oh yeah. I am built just like that woman.
And so is my mother. And I mean, if, I didn't know, I would think my mother was dressed up in a timepiece and we all look, we're built the same.
[00:15:18] Randi: We're fighting against some things that just aren't. Physically possible to change. That's the body that you were given and that you're housed with. I mean, we'll think of the plastic surgery industry too.
Like how often we do try to fight genetics and not like accept our bodies. I'm not saying that's like a bad thing. Like you are welcome to change your body, how you see fit, but it is good to work on where is this stemming from? And the accepting like this. You know, my body genetically, how you feel about that and addressing it.
[00:15:50] Jess: And when you don't accept your body, it can cause all these negative emotions, which leads to more mental health issues and eating disorders.
[00:15:59] Randi: Oh yeah. Huge anxiety, huge on eating disorders and stuff too. I know my daughter struggled with that too.
[00:16:05] Jess: When we were talking about it a couple episodes ago about like how Snapchat was really just kind of messing with her a little bit.
[00:16:11] Randi: Mm-hmm yeah, because. Seeing, um, social media and stuff over and over and over again. And like social media, I've studied some research on it and it is fine, like in small snippets of it. Mm-hmm, , it is just more harmful when you do like scroll for like hours and hours and hours and hours. And that's all you're seeing is like this picture, perfect thing, like in front of you and like, um, you're so hyper focused on just the looks of somebody and then you're judging their body and then you turn inward and start judging your body.
Figuring out how much time should I spend on social media?
[00:16:45] Jess: Well, it's even things like, you know, if we, if we even take away from the bodies, right? Cause some people are like, no, no, no, I don't do that. Well, think about if we take pictures, you don't want them to see everything on your counter. So what do we do?
We squish everything off our counter.
[00:16:58] Randi: Yeah. Swipe it on the floor underneath or stuff it in the closet. So it looks perfect.
[00:17:02] Jess: And then we take a picture and then we put all our crap back on the counter
[00:17:05] Randi: or same thing. Like we take a picture at a certain angle because, and we're only showing a snippet. Of a feed.
And I was just talking about that with a friend recently, too. She told me that she has a friend and she posts all this per perfect picture, you know, Instagram feed. And so she never checks in on her because she thinks that she's doing great. Because of this split second. And then she comes to find out like she hates her life.
She hates her husband. Her marriage is falling apart. She's a hot mess. And she's like, well, I never check in on you because I think like you have like this perfect house, this perfect outfit, this perfect life. And that's not, you know, and sometimes when people are like portraying that like all the time, they're really hurting underneath it all.
And I feel that's kind of like what we do to ourselves too. We're ignoring the underlying issues.
[00:17:54] Jess: And taking that perfectionism further, right? It's kinda like that. Which road do we take? Right? Mm-hmm we said earlier one size doesn't fit all for people who find inspiration and like positive thoughts and affirmations, right?
Those are all positive body. Positivity might be a good way to rewire some negative thinking. Mm-hmm , you know, but body positivity, it also can help dissolve the ideas that we picked up from society and childhood. Right. We're looking at. How body positivity works. Right. I, I know we wanna go more into the neutrality piece. Which one do we go with?
[00:18:28] Randi: Yeah, it's hard because like body positivity really does challenge diet culture. You find that positive affirmations sometimes can feel like a demand for positivity or happiness when body neutrality is more realistic and authentic. Because like I said before, if you're, I love this outfit on myself, I love this outfit.
I love this makeup on myself. Same thing. Like we're not going deeper than just the outer layer. There's so many layers to me, like pull back and I feel that's more like, uh, body neutrality. When you're faking it, and you're not actually thinking that like deep down or feeling that why push that on yourselves instead of just saying like, I'm accepting like of my body, this is the way it is.
Like, I know my daughter sometimes says, oh my gosh, like I have like the biggest thighs because she has her dad's thighs and I'm like, they're powerful. You know, they're great. I'm like, they might not fit into, um, the fashion industries, you know, straight leg jeans, the way you want them to, but your body is rocking, focus on those are your dad's legs, you know?
And they're awesome. And like, he struggled with the same things though, too. Like as a man, like even finding jeans that fit his body, not something you're alone in I think that's important to have that narrative too. Like when we talk about things like you are not alone in being frustrated with your body, it's not good or bad, it can just be, and that's it like meet yourself where you're at right now.
And as a therapist, we meet our clients where they're at. I'm meeting you, whether it's at your high point or your low point, I'm gonna walk with you through that. But like, do we do that to ourselves? Do we to yourself? This is where you're at and that's okay. Like let's walk through. This self, I talk to myself really mean I have for a long time, it's only until recently that I've changed the narrative in my head to be a more body neutral.
[00:20:26] Jess: And we were talking about like earlier about, you know, looking at the pounds on this scale, right? Mm-hmm , I'm on this weird stall right now. And in some ways I'm okay with it. I've lost 67 pounds.
[00:20:36] Randi: Mm-hmm , which is amazing.
[00:20:37] Jess: It is amazing. And I, but look at me I'm but, but, but I'm
[00:20:40] Randi: still doing B, B, B, B, B B B, but wait.
[00:20:43] Jess: And I'm stuck
[00:20:44] Randi: and I'm like, no, I'm like stop.
[00:20:46] Jess: I took my kid to American Eagle. I could never fit an American Eagle before. Right. But I was like, all right, she's trying on clothes. Let me go see if I can find something. I grabbed the biggest pair of pants. Like, I don't know if that's gonna fit. I don't know.
I don't know. And then I was like, okay, let me get the next size down. And I thought, okay, let me try. Right. Mm-hmm cause I'm, I'm a 14 right now, which is great. Their, their 16 was too big and I'm like, oh, oh, let me try a 14. So I put on a 14 and I was like, holy crap. These look really good. I mean, I'm a little short for them, but I was like, oh my gosh, I can't believe I can actually shop where my daughter can shop mm-hmm , which is amazing. And if I was only sticking on what does my number say on that? I would've missed this moment to be like, oh, okay, look at this. I, I have actually done something big.
[00:21:33] Randi: Yes you have.
[00:21:34] Jess: And just hating on, you know, what society says, numbers should be.
[00:21:38] Randi: That's why I say you need to tell that bitch inside your head to shut up. because it's like, we have like this inner running dialogue that like, Why like we need to fit into this certain size. Mm-hmm we need to be a certain size on the scale. Like my BMI isn't this, like, I'm not healthy. And it's like, no good
[00:21:59] Jess: vibes only. I mean, I think I even had this shirt, but it didn't even wear it. Cuz I was like, I wasn't feeling good vibes. Why would I wear a shirt that said good vibes only. Right? How about. Good vibes sometimes.
[00:22:08] Randi: And we're gonna talk about that more in episode five, about toxic positivity, shove that down your throat and down other people's throat can create another negative impact
[00:22:20] Jess: going through encouraging people to love their bodies.
When they're uncomfortable in theirs, it can make them feel worse, right. And again, we, we push down our emotions. It, it makes us feel. More likely, you know, we're gonna end up developing anxiety or depressive disorders. And sometimes people even get suicidal when they're like, I don't feel this way, but you keep telling me to feel this way about my body.
[00:22:42] Randi: Right. Because then you're creating this loop of feeling like you're failing yourself over and over again, because you're like, why don't I feel good about myself. Why am I not? Like, then it's just another standard that you feel like you can't reach in that moment. And then like, if you have depression or if you have anxiety or things like that, then it's just pulling you down and down and down instead of just being like, okay, I'm gonna accept where I'm at right now.
[00:23:07] Jess: And we talk about the standards again. We're looking at like people who. The general public. I recently was sitting at the VA with my husband and I forget how much the VA I was just sitting there waiting for him to, to do his thing. There's so many different people there because they're veterans that have prosthetics. Yes. Thank you. Disabilities disabilities. Even going in the elevator, I was like, oh wow. They have the buttons high. They have the buttons low.
[00:23:36] Randi: Thinking about those things. Yeah.
[00:23:37] Jess: Thinking about those things, right. A gentleman walked by and he was making like this clicking sound mm-hmm . And I was like, huh. And I was like, oh, I bet you, he has a prosthetic.
Right. And I think he was one of the doctors. Yeah. And so it's just interesting that when we, we talk about body positivity, it doesn't really embrace all of that.
[00:23:56] Randi: Right? It's very like ableism. Like if you have a full functioning working body, then you can love and accept it. It's like, what if you don't like, my mom was disabled too.
So I am very like aware of those things, but most people aren't, like you said, like there was. Things in there that made it easier for them to like get around and move and use things and like society as a whole, doesn't usually like have that. And so it's kind of cool to see that there are like a lot of companies and stuff, like moving towards that and like different ability with like clothing and fashion and like products that can help.
But body neutrality comes in with that, because it can say like, my leg is not working, I'm in a wheelchair right now, but like, what can I accept about this? What is making me feel good about this? Or I am mad about this. I am not feeling good about this, but I have this going on instead.
[00:24:57] Jess: And that's doing a little bit of both.
I mean, it's okay to mix body positivity and a little bit of body neutrality at the same time. If you can apply them at where it makes sense for you. I think that's great. Placing body positive affirmation statements in place where you see them often is one way to ensure that these messages I don't become part of the everyday consciousness.
[00:25:19] Randi: If that's something that works for you and you feel good about that, and it feels genuine to you, then do that. Like use a statement. Like I feel confident. Like I love my ass or just like, I'm excited about like my appearance today. If those things work for you. Utilize them, if they don't feel genuine, then throw them out the window.
[00:25:39] Jess: Right? Like yesterday I was wearing a tank top working in the garage, but man, my body made me so happy yesterday cuz I was able to lift things and do things and I could feel that my working out at the gym and doing the strength training it's working, I'm like, okay. All right. I'm not gonna rock a tank top in public, but man, I could pick up this heavy ass thing.
It was fantastic.
[00:26:00] Randi: So what are some other things that we can do to kind of like take back control of the way that we're feeling about ourselves, especially around like social media and things like that. I think owning that you're okay too, like in your body and what your body is doing for you and highlighting that on social media can be like empowering and like help other people feel less alone too.
So like, what if you had like, taken a picture of yourself in a tank top in the garage, you know, working and being like, man, my arms are like awesome today because they did.
[00:26:33] Jess: You know that would've been great. Although my garage is still a hot mess.
[00:26:35] Randi: Like, see, here you go, right again. You're saying like, oh, I don't want people to see right.
My mess. It's like, that's what we do. Like we downplay these stuff and then people feel alone. My garage is a mess too. Like that would make me feel good because I was finding that connection that like Jessica is owning her arms. I don't like my arms either. Jessica is owning the mess in her garage. My garage is a mess.
Why do we. Downplay these things, instead of opening up a dialogue that this is real life.
[00:27:07] Jess: I probably should have taken one of those, those videos to show me that I lifted all this crap up onto a ladder. Mm-hmm, put it up there by myself. And that would've been a great thing to say that this is part of what my life looks like.
[00:27:19] Randi: And some other things that we can do too. I mean, I'm huge about mindfulness too, and that can help you taking some time to like, think on those things. Training, you know, your mind almost to be in the here and now so that you can experience that stuff without judgment. Because like you said, you were like, this is so great, but my, oh, wait, my garage is messy.
So it's like, then you're like tagging on like another judgment in like a different direction instead. Or like you're thinking like sometimes too you can be like, yeah, my body's like so strong right now, but like, Oh wait, like when I was like 20, it looked like this too. Like, no, no, no. Okay. Like my body has birth children.
Like my body has been through trauma. Like my body has been through car accidents like this, that, and the other, like, it's not gonna be what it was like when I was like 15 or 20 or whatever, just being in the here and now. With your body and not comparing it to whether it's yourself, your past, or what you wish for the future or somebody else's body.
And so kind of utilizing that, being in the here and now with mindfulness, I think can really, uh, create like a step forward in feeling comfortable with your body as a whole.
[00:28:38] Jess: And, you know, one of the things that we do in our house, something, we started really young. Um, we call 'em do overs.
[00:28:43] Randi: Okay.
[00:28:44] Jess: Because sometimes me and my ADHD child, we don't always say in this thing, we don't always say we come out a little rough or we don't always say something or maybe she snaps and I say, okay, would you like to do that over mm-hmm right.
And so what I've been teaching her and it's something that I'm doing and I, I will do it just cuz what we were just talking about, even if you say it's okay to go, you know what, let me restate that. I'm gonna do this.
[00:29:08] Randi: Let's reframe it, right?
[00:29:09] Jess: Yes. I'm gonna reframe and redo what I just said. I'll put up some examples of kind of what that looks like, but you know what I could have said, not a should I coulda, but it's more of a.
You know what yesterday was amazing. I was able to clean my garage and put things up and really notice how strong I've become mm-hmm and, and I'm really excited that I'm able to do all of this. And that is a nice healthy Doover. So that's the first part about this. And I just wanted to throw that in there is that sometimes it's recognizing, and then just saying, let me just restate that.
Let me redo it. Let me reframe it. And you can do it right in the moment.
[00:29:47] Randi: Yes. And I think that's great. And that's empowering. I like that a lot that you can have a do-over and another thing too, like I've noticed a lot because I have lost 157 pounds. Wow. Yeah. Is that. People make a lot of comments about my body.
It's the first and foremost thing that people say to me, which is very jarring because people have never commented on my body like that before, like in a positive light mm-hmm so like people saying like, you're so tiny, you're so skinny. Like you're so thin, like, oh my God, you look so good. Like all the time it's been.
And at first I was thinking like, Randy, just take the compliment. Like, why am I rejecting this? Like, why is it making me feel uncomfortable? Because I think like we're told too as women like, just accept the compliment mm-hmm right. And, um, or we don't accept compliments enough. And so I was kind of like struggling with that.
And then I was like, no, it makes me uncomfortable. And it's okay to move the topic away from my body and change the topic. Or even just say like that is making me uncomfortable. I'm trying not to focus on that right now. It's, it's hard because as a society, we want that, like, we think we want that, like to be told, like we're thin, we're beautiful.
Mm-hmm like, oh, you've lost so much weight. Like that's been put into the narrative. So how do we change that? And so it's okay to have boundaries around that, you know, say, let's talk about something else.
[00:31:23] Jess: And, you know, what's really cool. Is that my daughter she's now this was sixth grade. She's going into seventh. uh, there was somebody in her class and I'm, I'm just so amazed that the younger generation is they're hearing this stuff. Mm-hmm and they're practicing it. Right. Um, she came back and told me a story about, somebody had said something about, she needed to, you know, button up one of her polo tops or something.
[00:31:45] Randi: Right. Oh, don't get me started on school dress codes and how they're toxic for kids.
[00:31:49] Jess: Well, exactly. But yeah, this girl responded and her a, her statement. Why are you looking at my body? And why are you commenting on my body? Mm-hmm and I was like blown away. Right. I was like, that is amazing. Whoever's mom that is, is teaching this girl that is, I just want to give her high hug, right.
High five and a hug because why, why are we commenting on it? So some of the examples, um, I wanna go through some examples of like a body neutral statement. Okay. What if somebody said, man, Your body is so strong. You are so strong that you can do that, that, have you ever had anybody say that?
[00:32:25] Randi: No, I don't think so.
[00:32:26] Jess: Right. I mean, is, is that different than saying, wow, you're so thin. I can accept my body as it is. I appreciate it's strengths and weaknesses. What can I do today to honor my body? I can take my dog for a walk. Right. I'm really lucky that I can take my dog for a walk. Not even lucky. I'm I, i, I just, I love it.
[00:32:44] Randi: And so finding things that are important to you, mm-hmm, honoring that and doing it for yourselves. I think like that is important too. Like, we've been told too to like hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go and ignore our bodies. We're ignoring our bodies physically and emotionally. And so to honor that and say like, I feel like I should get up and move, or I feel like I should get up and stretch, or I feel like I should call a friend right now, but oh, wait, I need to finish this.
I need, I should do some more work instead. Like I should no, like stop. And listen to your body, or even just a simple thing. Like, and this was huge for me in losing weight and stuff too. I'm still bad about it, but I'm trying is that often when we're hungry or we think we're hungry. Yes. But we're just thirsty.
Thirsty. We're not. and I don't stop to drink water instead. I would grab food and it's like mindless eating. I'm not being in the here and now I'm not listening to my body. I'm not listening to my needs. I'm not honoring it. I'm not respecting it. And I've learned, okay, let's drink some water first. Mm-hmm and then go from there.
Am I just filling myself with empty calories? Because I've been told by the food and grocery industry. The fast food industry that I should be shoving, a giant donut or hamburger on my mouth.
[00:34:11] Jess: But where do you learn that? I didn't learn that I was really thirsty and not hungry until I started working with my dietician.
She's a dietician. She works with my doctor mm-hmm and she says, you know, they want you to drink. And she says, you know, have you had 40 ounces of water today? Not including coffee. That doesn't count.
[00:34:30] Randi: right. I count coffee in there.
[00:34:32] Jess: Oh, they don't count coffee be, but they wanna know. Have you had that? If you've had 40 ounces of water, are you still hungry, then, then honor your body and have something nutritious.
But most of the time, I didn't learn that growing. That's not what the advertisements say.
[00:34:47] Randi: No, it's like, you're supposed to eat. And also too, like we had, you know, we sat down for family dinners and stuff and it was like, you clean your whole plate. Ooh. Yeah. That's a good one then like, but then like, why are you heavy, Randy?
Like, but you didn't eat your food. What was I supposed to do? Like, I thought I'm supposed to eat all the time and that was good, but then it's like, you're heavy. So it's like, we got all these mixed messages.
[00:35:13] Jess: Well, and so one of the things I'm gonna sidetrack, sidetrack and squirrel as usual, right? Squirrel is in our house.
Now we focus on protein. Did you have a piece of protein, right. Eat a protein with, with whatever, have a piece of cheese. If you're gonna do nothing but eat waffles fine, but have some protein. Because for her, she needs, she needs the carbs, cuz she bounces a little bit more than I do watching a lot more.
But I'm, I'm like, you need to eat protein too. And so that's something I've learned over this last time is, is, and that's respecting my body is that I need the protein.
[00:35:44] Randi: My daughter's father, he grew up very poor. And so he has an issue, like if you don't clean your plate and we've had to work on that, that it's okay.
If they don't finish their food, cuz it's really hard for him to waste food and like he wants to keep leftovers and stuff and I'm like, are we gonna eat that? They're not gonna eat it. Like. Force them to eat food that they don't need when they're full. I want them to stop eating. And so that's been something too that we've had to unlearn and things like that.
And so that's why kinda body neutrality comes in. That's saying like, okay, like I'm gonna listen to my body and then I'm gonna honor it. And I'm gonna respect it.
[00:36:25] Jess: Earlier we talked about how being forced to be positive causes, low self-esteem or comparing ourselves to other people. Um, can make us feel bad about our bodies, right?
What are some of the tools that we can use to feel better about it?
[00:36:40] Randi: Yeah. There's lots of things that we can do to kind of help refocus our mindset. And like we were talking about like reframing our thoughts and working on our self-esteem so we can take these, you know, into play and definitely like focusing on things that make you feel good.
That bring you joy and let the fuck go of the ones that don't, that are bringing you down. Whether that's a person or a thing, this could be a whole other talk, but like self care is important, but it's, you have to realize it's a whole industry too, and they're pushing like that. You need to do like self care self.
[00:37:18] Jess: Okay. Well that can look different for everybody. It doesn't have to be spending, you know, a million dollars on bath bombs. Like if that's not your thing, like that's not your self-care, that's fine. It looks different for everybody. Let go of what doesn't work for. You find what works for you and do that. And then don't compare yourself to other people easier said than done, but like, not even just like beauty wise, but like accomplish wise, like I used to do that to myself.
[00:37:47] Randi: Like. Why am I here? But they're there. Why am I here? But they're there. Okay. Randy, like you were taking care of like a dying parent. Like, so school got put on the back burner. My career got put on the back burner, like for these things. And it was like, but why, you know, but okay. Like we all have different lives.
We have different paths. We have different traumas. We have different bodies, we have different abilities. So. Your path is your own, and you need to tell yourself I'm on this path, they're on this path. I have no idea what they've gone through to get where they're at. And I need to focus on where I'm at and where I wanna be.
[00:38:23] Jess: The last town I lived in. Right. They have the MRTT right. Moms run this town, which is this big running group. And I used to see these moms, they were running. And I was like, I, I only run. I mean, I joke if
[00:38:34] Randi: like, like the Disney princess.
[00:38:36] Jess: Oh, yeah. That or, but like, I joke if like the zombie apocalypse came, I'd probably become a zombie because I'm not a runner.
[00:38:42] Randi: Oh, a hundred percent. I'd be taken out first.
[00:38:44] Jess: In a heartbeat like here, I'll just, you guys can go. I'll just slow. You slow 'em down. Don't worry. I used to look at these women who were running and be so like, not envious, but it was like, man, they must have such a great life. They can run. Oh my gosh. What a great coping skill.
And then I started to learn that, oh, wait, they're running from their life. These women are out running there because they don't wanna be home or they can't handle their kids. Negative body image.
[00:39:08] Randi: Right. And that's another thing we do as women a lot too. Well, anybody in general is being busy is usually a response to trauma.
[00:39:17] Jess: Oh, and it's a good stop thing. Right? Air quotes, again is the good thing are
[00:39:21] Randi: you're running that you're busy that you're social all the time, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, no, you're just running from yourself, your mind. And what's happening inside.
[00:39:29] Jess: Right? In the trauma response of, if you don't know how to be still.
[00:39:33] Randi: That is a trauma response. Mm-hmm mm-hmm and when some people say, how are you? Oh, I'm busy. And we go, oh, wow. That's great.
Right. Busy, busy, busy.
[00:39:42] Jess: Is it great? Is it great that you're busy? I mean like, did you sit around and read a book because you could.
[00:39:47] Randi: Oh yeah. And I say all the time, like I'm a workaholic and that's how I deal with my trauma. I'm not like saying like, it's like a good thing, but it's, it's when you can't slow down, it's because you don't wanna face some things that are happening around you or inside of you.
[00:40:03] Jess: Well, and so that's one of the things to like really work on your self-esteem too is spend time with people who, who make you feel good about yourself. Aren't. Uh, the emotional vampires, right. People who aren't going energy vampires. Oh my God.
[00:40:18] Randi: Yes. Suck the life out of you. Or like we said, we were talking about in our previous episode about depression, like, are you depressed or are you just surrounded by assholes? Like, that's a thing too, like cutting out those that are draining your life force.
[00:40:34] Jess: Absolutely.
[00:40:34] Randi: Family, friends. I mean really when you put up boundaries and we're gonna talk about boundaries, I think episode six.
[00:40:43] Jess: I think so. I think it's coming up.
[00:40:44] Randi: Yeah. You make way for more things that are beneficial for you and you will. Find like a piece that you didn't know before.
[00:40:54] Jess: What I always say is that, talk to yourself, like you would your friends, but here's another one for us mama's is talk to yourself like you would your daughter mm-hmm right. I have so many and I've done it too is like, wow. She's so beautiful. She's so amazing. Talking about your daughter, right? Mm-hmm and I'm like, she's also just like arguing with myself on the daily, right? Because she's so much like me. So why is it? I can be so kind to her, but not always kind to myself. So it's learning to be kind to yourself as well. And to take that moment and, and show yourself the same respect you would, your daughter or your good friend or somebody that you really, really admire, right?
[00:41:32] Randi: Like, would you say those things to that friend? And you're like thinking, I say those things to myself. I wouldn't say them out loud to somebody else. That's harsh. That's critical. That's mean that's horrible. Like if you actually said that out loud.
[00:41:47] Jess: What a bitch.
[00:41:48] Randi: And you're like, why are you being that way to yourself?
[00:41:51] Jess: All the time? All the time, all the time, a couple weeks ago, uh, Randy and I were out shopping and there was this mirror and I took a picture and I was like, oh my God, look at this mirror. I look great in this mirror should have bought the damn mirror by way.
[00:42:02] Randi: Right. But it wasn't the mirror. It was you.
[00:42:05] Jess: Exactly, exactly.
But you were saying it's the mirror that's making me look good. Right. And I was like, no girl, you're the one that looks fire.
And, you know, what I noticed is that we don't have enough full length mirrors in our house. And most women do not have full length mirrors. We only want to see how we look from say, oh, I don't know, shoulder height up.
[00:42:25] Randi: Well, I read some research too that said that I think it was, I don't know, it's like a really high percentage. I wanna say like 87 or like 78%. I don't know. Uh, but people. Do not feel good about themselves when they look in the mirror trying on clothes or trying on a bathing suit, that's a really high percentage that we do not like what's looking back at us.
[00:42:52] Jess: Have you ever noticed how some couples they look alike and it's not, cuz they've been married for 20 years, but like I kind of feel like. We look at ourselves in a mirror. So we go and look for what we look, what we like. Right, right. Uhhuh . And I think that's why a lot of couples look alike or have similar structures. Do you think if we had more full length mirrors in our house, that we would be more accepting of ourselves because we would see ourselves more often. I mean, like. You have that amazing, huge mirror.
[00:43:19] Randi: I know. I got a huge, great selfie mirror. Yeah.
[00:43:21] Jess: I love it. I love it. And I love looking at it because you're like, okay, this it's a very realistic of what you look like.
[00:43:28] Randi: Mm-hmm .
[00:43:29] Jess: And do you think that people would be more accepting of themselves? If they had better full length mirrors, not just those little tiny ones, you check on the back of your door, but like the one you walk by every day.
[00:43:39] Randi: I don't know. Maybe yes or no. I think it depends kind of where you're at. Like with your journey and stuff, you know, I'm on a huge, like self-acceptance journey.
So like, it's good for me to see that and recognize like the strengths in my body for me, because I. Tell people, my journey to lose weight was not one due to body image. It was due to health and struggling with like accepting my body as it is now, even at a lower weight has been very interesting because I struggled my whole life, accepting it at a higher weight.
And now I'm like, oh, I don't. You know, this I'm like stop. Like, why am I doing this? Like, same thing, like accepting I did this so I can live longer for my kids. Mm-hmm I did this. So I'm not gonna have a heart attack. I did this to combat my sleep apnea. My P C O S. And these are, this is why I did, and this is why I'm appreciating my body right now in this full length mirror and viewing it and owning it as it is right now and accepting it well.
[00:44:42] Jess: And that's part of the body neutrality, right? Mm-hmm is accepting where you are right now. It is taking care of yourself physically, emotionally. I'm not gonna be out in tank tops. That's fine. Right. But it doesn't mean that I can't enjoy being strong. I can't enjoy that. I'm able to do things in my house that say my husband can't lift anymore because he can't lift and carry because of his disability.
[00:45:06] Randi: Giving her some clothes the other day. And she was like, I don't wear short dresses because I don't like my legs. And I was gonna say like, well, why no, like own it. It's like, that's, that's her journey that she doesn. Feel comfortable in something. So why would I push something that I think would look great on her? If she's not gonna feel great in it like that doesn't make sense.
[00:45:29] Jess: Well, and that's part of the body neutrality also is dressing that what makes you feel comfortable?
It is dressing in.
[00:45:36] Randi: Ignore the size, ignore, ignore the tag. Please just put on something that feels good on yourself.
[00:45:43] Jess: And that you accept and feel comfortable with mm-hmm part of this is really self care and self love and acceptance and, and really just owning where you are and knowing that it's gonna change over time. I mean, it, it changes so much and we talked about at the being at the VA and seeing different, different types of bodies owning where you are right now. And knowing that it's gonna change and grow.
[00:46:06] Randi: Yeah. And accepting yourself, meet yourself where you're at and be accepting of other people as well. And we're gonna be talking about toxic positivity in our next episode, and we hope you guys join us there for more information, check out unapologetically, randiandjesspodcast.com.
[00:46:25] Jess: Absolutely. And we'll throw some of the stuff up on the website. Like we normally do. You can find our favorite shit. Yeah.
[00:46:31] Randi: We'll talk to you then.
[00:46:32] Jess: Bye.
[00:46:34] Randi: 1, 2, 3, 4. Thanks for listening and normalizing mental health with us. Don't
[00:46:40] Jess: for, to check out our free resources and favorites on our website, unapologeticallyRandiandjess.com
[00:46:46] Randi: Like, and share this episode and tune in next week.